THE ECONOMIC PAMPHLETEER: How Do We Ensure Good Food for All?


  • John Ikerd University of Missouri, Columbia



Good Food, Food Supply, Industrial Food System


First paragraph:

How do we provide good food for all 323 million Americans? Differing answers to this question continue to distract, if not misdirect, the sustainable food movement. Some argue that organic, local, and other so-called good foods must accommodate the current industrial system of food processing and retailing. They point to the fact that organic food sales of nearly US$40 billion per year (Organic Trade Association, 2016) are still less than 5% of total retail food sales. In addition, mainstream supermarkets and large specialty markets, such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, account for more than 90% of organic sales (Porterfield, 2015). Large corporate food processors also own and control production for most of the major organic food brands (The Cornucopia Project, n.d.). So, about 99% of foods still move through the industrial food system, even after accounting for local food sales of an estimated $12 billion per year (Vilsack, 2015). To accommodate the 99%, some good food advocates urge farmers to find ways to accommodate the industrial food system....


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Author Biography

John Ikerd, University of Missouri, Columbia

John Ikerd is professor emeritus of agricultural economics, University of Missouri, Columbia. He was raised on a small farm and received his BS, MS, and PhD degrees from the University of Missouri. He worked in the private industry prior to his 30-year academic career at North Carolina State University, Oklahoma State University, the University of Georgia, and the University of Missouri. Since retiring in 2000, he spends most of his time writing and speaking on issues of sustainability. Ikerd is author of six books and numerous professional papers, which are accessible at and
John Ikerd



How to Cite

Ikerd, J. (2016). THE ECONOMIC PAMPHLETEER: How Do We Ensure Good Food for All?. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 6(4), 3–5.